Flake off

A few days ago, one of my friends shared a picture on Facebook of the paper snowflakes she had been making with her husband. It reminded me of how much I like to make them. I like that I can never really quite picture how they will turn out as I am chopping away at my bit of folded paper. It’s a little surprise every time I unfold one.

I am a bit of a pedant when it comes to snowflakes. I like them to have the scientifically required six sides. Unfortunately it’s not as straightforward to fold a six sided flake as an eight sided one. I never got the hang of it until my children were given a Christmas activity book a few years ago. So here is a little walk through for the mathematically challenged amongst you.

First of all, you need a square of paper. The pictures below will show you how to make one by folding a piece of A4.




Then you need to fold your square, first in half diagonally (I can only spell that thanks to JK Rowling).

Next you can fold it in half again.

Now the tricky part, trying to fold it into three. I can usually do it by eye. You don’t have to be 100% accurate. If you want to be more accurate you can use a ruler or a protractor.


The pointy bits at the top are surplus to requirements so trim them off. You’ll be left with a triangle shape as below.



At last, the fun part, cutting out a shape. You will find by trial and error what works for your tastes. I like my snowflakes to be quite ‘pointy’ so I end up cutting away quite a lot of paper. I don’t usually draw a pattern on before I chop but for the purposes of completeness I did this time.



The Moment Of Truth…….Ta Dah

Like the shape, dislike the creases

Can you believe I actually got the ironing board out and pressed my snowflake? I’m not sure what the safety implications of this are so don’t sue me if you set fire to anything. I placed mine between two pieces of card, but maybe between two tea towels would be better. It was worth it as you can see in the next picture.

Much better, nice and flat. You can play spot the difference too

After I had chopped up a few pieces of pristine A4 printer paper, it ¬†occurred to me that I could recycle the envelopes from any Christmas cards that arrived. I was probably inspired by the fact that one of them was already a square. I cut out and used the side with the address written on it. Obviously the reverse was clean white paper, so, that was the side I displayed. I suppose it depends where you intend to hang them. If they are in a window the light shining through will probably show up the fact that it’s not a fresh piece of paper. As I was sticking mine on the glass of my display cabinet, it didn’t matter.

As you can see from my initial picture, I’ve made a few different sizes. The biggest ones are from a piece of A4. The smallest ones were made from the strip cut away when turning A4 into a square. I find that the bigger the paper, the easier they are to cut and handle. I think the variety of sizes looks interesting and if you are recycling, it’s inevitable anyway. Now I just need a few more to fill in the spaces. Oh, and I think I might have to do the ironing trick a few more times too.